“When they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth.” (Luke 2:39, NASB95)
When they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord. Disciples are focused on pleasing God. They listen to His voice, as expressed in His words, as recorded in the Word of God, the Bible and follow them to the best of their ability.
They do so out of love. Like a man who loves his wife and listens to her attentively, we listen to God because we love Him. The husband who seeks to bring joy to his wife knows that the secret is in the listening, the paying attention.
When a man loves a woman, he listens to her and, thus, he is able to do things for her that will bring her joy. He is tuned in to the wavelength of her heart. Then, when it comes to buying her a gift or selecting a place to take her, his selfless heart of love is able to know what things she will enjoy.
So it was with Joseph and Mary. This new couple was focused on pleasing God in everything they possibly could do. Joseph knew the words of God, having been trained as all boys were in his day. Mary obviously knew the words of God as her praise shows (Luke 1:46-56). Love for God is seen in their attention to His words.
Now, here they were, in the Temple attending to every detail of God’s heart for their child. They came to dedicate Jesus to the Lord because he was their first-born and he belonged to the Lord. With a sacrificial offering they ransomed their boy as commanded by the Lord to show their honor of the God they loved.
This was their sign to the world that they loved God, rejoiced that He rescued Israel so long ago from the slavery of Egypt, and exercised their faith in this symbolic act of hope for the day when they would be free again from the slavery of Rome. (See Exodus 13 for details of God’s commands.) Their obedience reflected the love of their hearts.
Shouldn’t you ask yourself, “Is there anything I have left undone that God has commanded me?” If you aren’t sure, today is a great day to start scouring His words to discover His heart’s desire for you!
Train Them Thursdays seeks to wed the Great Commission directive of Jesus with the practice He employed while on Earth. Each nugget is meant to encourage the reader with a “can-do” spirit to realize that discipleship is something each person is both capable of and empowered to accomplish. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each thought and they flow out of decades of his tried and true field-testing in multiple settings from rural to inner city. He welcomes your comments below.